eBooks Just Published

Fresh, DRM-free

Oct

31

eBooks Just Published Has a Blog

The Beginning
Photo courtesy of foxpar4

It’s about time too. It’s been killing me not having a blog as I develop this site. I’ve really been enjoying putting this site together and so naturally have wanted to write about it.

What’s been holding me back to date is how to best implement the blog. The whole site is powered with WordPress, so you’d think it would be trivial right? Well it would, except that on eBooks Just Published, a Post is an eBook announcement, a category a genre, a tag an author, etc, etc. I don’t want my rambling posts to appear mixed in with ebook announcements. Lets face it, most readers will not be at all interested in the details of how the site operates.

This left me with a couple of options.

  1. Create a second installation of WordPress to host my blog and link to it from eBooks Just Published.
  2. Create a Blog category for my blog posts and display these posts on a separate page.

The first option provides the most flexibility. However having just spent several weeks setting up one site with WordPress I couldn’t face going through the whole process again. There would be a 95% duplication of setings, plugins, theme, etc between the two sites. It would also mean I’d have to perform double the maintenance (e.g. upgrading WordPress).

The second option will be much easier to maintain but I would need to work out ways of keeping my blog posts separate from the ebook announcements.

I decided to give option 2 a try even though I wasn’t sure if it could be done.

The first problem was how to stop my blog posts appearing on the main page. It turns out, not displaying posts in a particular category on the main page is a common request. The solution recommended by WordPress is to add the following line of PHP to the main loop of index.php.

<?php if (in_category(’3′)) continue; ?>

where 3 is the ID of the category you don’t want to appear.

The next challenge was how to display blog posts on a separate page. This is quite simple – you just display all posts in the Blog category. The tricky part is modifying your Page menu so that the Blog category appears as an entry along with all the other pages on the site. MoshuBlog.com has an article on doing just this. He also has a very good tip on how to override the blog’s theme and provide a custom one for a particular category of posts. I used this technique to remove the star voting system from my blog posts. The voting system is used for rating ebooks and besides I don’t want any feedback on the quality of my posts : – )

Finally there were a couple of details to clean up. My blog posts were still appearing in some of the widgets in the left-hand sidebar, namely New Releases and Genres. These are actually the Recent Posts and Categories widgets. What I needed was a way of excluding all posts in the Blog category from these widgets. The standard WordPress widgets don’t provide this option. However I’ve been using Vincent Prat’s excellent Enhanced Categories and Enhanced Recent Posts widgets which do provide this option. All I had to do was add the ID for the Blog category and voila, they disappeared.

The eBooks Just Published blog is now live. Expect some regular posting in the coming days as I have a backlog of things to write about.

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